Ezek. 2:1 And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.
Ezek. 2:2 And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me.
The term ŇSon of manÓ makes me think of many things.
The Lord instructs Ezekiel to stand up and listen to what He has to say. When the Lord calls us to service, He wants us to stand and show ourselves ready to hear and obey.
Verse two reminds me of the old saying, ŇGodŐs call is GodŐs enablement.Ó When God commands Ezekiel to stand, He sends His Spirit to empower him to obey. Then Ezekiel hears the Lord begin to speak.
When I did a word search in Accordance, it showed that the phrase Ňson of manÓ is used 93 times in this book.
Ezek. 2:3 And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day.
The Lord is commissioning Ezekiel to be a messenger to his own people, the children of Israel, GodŐs chosen people. In spite of their privileged position before God, they had rebelled against Him throughout their history. Their rebellion was a rejection of God as their authority, and their transgressions (the breaking of His law) were proof of that rejection. As God looked at the heart of the nation in general, He saw that heart of rebellion just as strong as ever in spite of being in captivity.
God brings judgment in order to draw people to repentance and faith, but the cumulative effect of sin in our lives is to harden our hearts against responding as we should. The prophet Joel expresses GodŐs heart:
Joel 2:11 And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?
Joel 2:12 Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
Joel 2:13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
Ezek. 2:4 For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD.
The Lord references the people of Israel as children, sons from the Hebrew. That really gives an understanding of why God is so persistent in His dealings with them in spite of their rebellion; He loves them with the love of a Father. Impudent is a reference to their being bold and shameless in showing contempt for God. Stiffhearted is a description of their refusal to repent.
God is sending Ezekiel to them as His personal representative to deliver His message. Ezekiel wonŐt have to search for words, the Lord will give him the words to say.
Ezek. 2:5 And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.
God is letting Ezekiel know that Israel as a whole is still a very rebellious people and may not listen to the message God gives him to deliver. Whether they choose to heed the message or not, they will know that God has sent His prophet among them. Ignorance will not qualify as an excuse for their continued disobedience. God will continue to be faithful even though they are not.
Ezek. 2:6 And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
The Lord goes on to tell Ezekiel he is not to be afraid of anything the people may say against him as he delivers GodŐs message. Evidently, he is to expect very sharp, pointed remarks that are meant to shame, hurt, and cause him to fear. The looks that accompany these words may be enough to cause one to fear.
By now, I think most of us would have already been making excuses. Ezekiel is being commissioned for a task that, if the expected response of the people gives any indication, will produce few results, if any.
Ezek. 2:7 And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.
Again the Lord emphasizes that Ezekiel is to speak GodŐs message in spite of the lack of response. He is not telling Ezekiel that there will be no response, but He is making sure he understands that his task will be difficult.
I think that is a truth that is becoming ever clearer as we get closer and closer to the time of GodŐs judgment and the reign of Antichrist. We are responsible to share GodŐs truth; He will deal with the response.
Ezek. 2:8a But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house:
God instructs Ezekiel to hear what He is saying. The Hebrew for hear indicates to listen intelligently with intent to obey. He warns him not to be rebellious like most of the Jews.
I think the fact that God warns Ezekiel is significant. He is aware of what we are up against when it comes to the attitudes of the flesh and our sin nature, not to mention the attack of the enemy and his ongoing attempts to deceive and provoke to disobedience. We need to serve God with the knowledge that we are all subject to falling and/or failing if we donŐt look to Him for protection and provision.
Ezek. 2:8b open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.
Ezek. 2:9 And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;
Ezek. 2:10 And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.
The Lord now instructs Ezekiel to get ready to eat what He is going to give him. When Ezekiel looks at the ŇfoodÓ he is to ingest, he sees a hand before him holding a scroll, or book. The scroll is written on the front and back; the contents consist of lamentations (like a funeral dirge), mourning (murmuring and sighing in meditation), and woe (groaning and wailing). In other words, itŐs not a book of good news.
Obviously, the prophet is giving us a word picture of the LordŐs instructions. The scroll represents the message that Ezekiel is going to deliver, and point is being made that it is God Himself who is putting the words of that message into EzekielŐs mouth.
This brings to mind a similar experience of the Apostle John when he received The Revelation.
Rev. 10:8 And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.
Rev. 10:9 And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.
Rev. 10:10 And I took the little book out of the angelŐs hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
The words of God will always be sweet to the taste of men and women of faith, but the truths that are precious to us become bitter in our bellies when we realize how those same truths will bring judgment upon so many.
The reference to the hand delivering the book indicates that Ezekiel couldnŐt see the person to whom it belonged, but he knew that it was either the hand of the Lord Himself or His chosen messenger.
I found a statement in Coffman commentaries that could shed light on why the scroll was written on front and back.
ŇÉ.as Taylor noted, Ellison's suggestion is most likely, that there was no room left for any additions by the prophet himself, of his own words.Ó